MENA July News Roundup

This is a compilation of the tweets by the MENA Regional Coordinator of the International Detention Coalition. For live updates, follow @IDC_MENA


Regional: Human Rights Watch asks: Why do People Risk Their Lives to Cross the Mediterranean? With unprecedented numbers of refugees and migrants arriving in the EU by boat, it is imperative that we consider the broader political and social contexts which require people to leave their homelands.

Israel: New film ‘Hotline’ documentary is screening at film festivals around the world in the coming months. Directed by Israeli film maker Silvina Lansmann, this documentary goes inside the offices of Israel’s Hotline for Refugees and Migrants.

The Hotline also published their latest detention monitoring report on Holot Detention Centre. The report, ‘Rwanda or Saharonim’, covers recent government policy which dictates refugees must: leave Israel for an unnamed third country (generally understood to mean Rwanda) or move to Saharonim prison indefinitely. The report focuses on the 43 Eritreans in Holot who have received this order and includes testimonies from their asylum application. Together with partner organisations, the Hotline has launched legal proceedings to prevent the implementation of this harmful policy, which fails to provide any assurance of safety for those whom Israel deports.

The challenges of ensuring alternatives to the detention of children in Israel, as well as the contemporary social and legal history of the detention of children is explored indepth The Migrant article Unaccompanied Refugee Minors in Israel.

july mena

Lebanon: “We don’t have anyplace to go”, says Khalid Nhaitar, a father of 11. In the town of Kab Elias in Lebanon’s Begaa Valley, officials gave the roughly 500 residents of the Abu Yasser refugee settlement, mostly from Syria, 24 hours to pack up and leave. The reason for the eviction notice? The locals were complaining about the noise, water consumption and debris. But the refugees refused to decamp. Whilst the residents of the camp were offered a brief reprieve after speaking with Lebanese officials, the incident underscores a growing strain on Lebanon’s resources, with large numbers of Syrian refugees continuing to seek refuge in the country.